Crypto Regulatory Manual
Japan is often known as one of the most crypto-advanced countries, having legalized cryptocurrency as a means of payment in April 2017. According to local news outlet Sankeibiz, Japanese regulators will create a handbook “that each [G20] country can use for regulations, such as measures to prevent the outflow of virtual currency.” This matter will be discussed at the G20 summit in June.
“International rules are being developed to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, with virtual currency restrictions in place,” the news outlet described Monday. “On the other hand, there are no rules in terms of the protection of customer assets and the soundness of the market, so it is the first time that certain ideas are shared internationally.”
A wide range of regulatory measures are being adopted by the G20 countries, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported, with some currently over-regulating crypto assets. The publication conveyed:
Since it is difficult to establish common rules, we [Japan] decided to put them in a guidebook, to have the know-how in a form that suits each country, and to raise the level of regulation.
According to the news outlet, the manual will address key regulatory areas such as “Necessary measures to protect customer assets,” “Measures against cyber attacks,” and “Ways of providing information to customers.”
The Japanese Experience
Japan is drawing from its own experience after two major cryptocurrency exchanges in the country were hacked last year — Coincheck in January and Zaif in September. Following the hacks, the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), increased its oversight of crypto exchanges including conducting on-site inspections and issuing business improvement orders. The agency has also been holding study group meetings which have resulted in many new proposed measures for the crypto industry.
Earlier this month, the FSA released a guide containing reference cases to help financial institutions identify suspicious crypto transactions and report them to the authorities per Article 8 of the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds.
Crypto transactions involving a large amount of cash or foreign currency and high-value transactions that do not match customer income or assets are suspicious to the FSA. Transactions in accounts that frequently receive crypto remittances from multiple addresses are also suspicious, especially if large withdrawals are made immediately after receiving them, the agency explained.
The FSA also warned of transactions in accounts suspected of being fake or with names that appear to be fictitious, adding that customers with a large number of accounts, especially under different names, should also be red-flagged.
Moreover, the regulator noted that transactions employing “anonymization technology when a customer deposits virtual currency into an account” are suspicious. Also on the list are transactions from multiple accounts using the same IP address, those that appear to be domestic but have foreign IP addresses and languages, and ones “that make tracking IP addresses difficult.”